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Warhammer 40K, News: New Thousand Son Models!

Photo from Warhammer Community

Oh My Chaotic god of Change!

Would you look at those beauties! I said I'd be following these with great interest, and Games Workshop has not disappointed. I'm so excited by these I'm almost upset I blew the club's termly budget on Blood Bowl!

Ok, I also bought paints and brushes, but damn those are nice looking models! And look at those guns! Thousand Sons used to be able to wield heavy weapons in previous editions, and now it looks as though they're taking to the field with their own unique guns. 

I'm somewhat hoping those weapons follow the same rules for the Rubric Marines bolters, making those flamers AP3. I don't think it'd be overpowered on a foot-slogger who can't fire Overwatch due to Slow and Purposeful. That big gun will probably be a watered down version of an assault canon or maybe even an AP3 Heavy bolter. Either one will put these into the Premier League of infantry killers.

The models themselves are fantastic, but the Thousand Sons have a great pedigree of unique models going right back to the earliest days of 40K. Here's the first edition:

All images from Lexicanum

Really very chaotic at that time, but still with the trademark traitor splayed-out backpack exhausts. You can see the M on the shoulder pad? M for Millennium, or thousand. You could also claim M for Magnus.

Now we get to 2nd edition, which really is where 40K as we know it kicks off:

A very recognizable model now as a Thousand Son's marine, we can see the Egyptian influence starts here. I think this wasn't called a Thousand Son at this point, but just a Tzeentch Chaos Space Marine. My memory of that time is hazy due to fanboy lust of Dark Angels.

A couple of more details to note here: the tabard has some of what would later be known as Thousand Son Legion markings. The bolter for the new rubric marines has the same bird head motif as was started here.

As a side note, Ahriman was released in this edition, and hasn't changed until now... somewhat ironically for the pawn of the Lord of Change.

Third Edition rolled around, but the Thousand Sons would only get models in the form of head and other bits upgrade packs.

From then, the only updates were from Forgeworld, and most of that Horus Heresey miniatures. As they aren't Rubric Marines, I'm not going to put them here, but this is where a lot of the Egyptian style symbols become rationalised as emlems of Prospero and her people. You know... before it got burned a few weeks ago.

An interesting thing to note is that the models are actually getting less and less chaotic as the editions progress. The new was are downright clean looking, limiting the Lovecraftian flairs to bird iconography, flames and the third-eye-cronography of Magnus.

Why would this be? Well a couple of reasons.

For one, these models are moving away from the one-unit-elite of a Chaos warband to a core of an elite army. If you're going to be expected to paint more of them, more broad panels with obvious filigree and detail is quicker to paint up. This taps into why Space Marines are the novice army of choice in the first place.

Secondly, in a more artistic vein, these will be the more solid parts of a full on Tzeentchian war host. The Lord of Change has a thing for spawns and mutated creatures, leading to some very busy designs. Having these relatively clear cut Marines striding between the bizarre monstrosities will create nice bits of contrasts for armies on parade (i.e. the display cabinet).

Finally, this is a thematic move to distance the Thousand Sons from Chaos. Whilst the other traitor legions turned to Chaos willingly, the Thousand Sons were somewhat pushed there by prejudice against their psykers and Russ getting duped far too easily by Horus into smashing Prospero rather than bringing in Magnus for questioning. 

Magnus himself is somewhat unique for the traitor primarchs in that he hates his patron for tricking him into Heresy. Not only that, but he absolutely doesn't trust Tzeentch. His legion staying close to their original form shows his (limited) defiance to the Ruinous Powers, despite being intrinsically tied to one by being a demon Primarch,

Irony makes Tzeentch giggle.

There's also the point that the Rubric Marines were turned into dust inside their armour to stave off any potential mutations, making the 1st Edition models the very thing Ahriman tried to avoid with his Rubric. It wouldn't make sense for them to have tentacles coming out of odd places, as there's nothing for Chaos to mutate.

So you can see why I'm excited by this. Really good job Games Workshop. Really good job!

Thanks for reading.

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